President of the Senate and Chairman National Assembly, Godswill Akpabio, on Friday restated the determination of the National Assembly under his leadership to work for Nigeria and Nigerians.
He also assured the Executive arm of the government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of its readiness to collaborate with his administration to deliver on the Renewed Hope Agenda, saying ” our President will not walk alone.”
Akpabio made the pledge while delivering his speech at the two-day retreat for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly taking place at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.
Akpabio commended the National Institute For Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) and the Konard Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) for their collaborative efforts in organizing the retreat, noting that “the retreat was a critical national initiative aimed at identifying ways to better serve the Nigerian people.”
He disclosed that the leadership of the 10th National Assembly has resolved to continue passing key motions and other legislative initiatives to address pressing economic challenges in the country.
Akpabio, who recently clocked 100 days in office as the President of the Senate informed the gathering which included the Vice President Kashim Shettima, Chief of Staff to the President, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, four former leaders of the Senate, a former Speaker and the member of the National Assembly of some of the achievements of the 10th National Assembly, which include legislative and oversight successes that have resulted in transparency, accountability, and the increased efficiency of government institutions.
He stressed that the National Assembly will continue to collaborate with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for national development.“We know that the executive arm is steering our country through turbulent waters. The mark of a great sailor is not how he fares in calm waters; it is in how he powers through the rough seas. If His Excellency Senator Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and your good self must take the ship of state to harbors of bliss and development, then you must steer us out of the sheltered shore, through the rolling waves and stormy gales, and set the sails to whether every storm, safe in the knowledge that you are not alone.
“Tell Mr. President, that the leadership of the Tenth National Assembly (and by extension the entire National Assembly) says that he will never walk alone. We believe that this is the government that should come to change the fortunes of our country.
“We believe that this is the National Assembly that should come to change our destiny. We believe that this National Assembly has come to give hope to our nation. As the leaders of the Tenth Assembly, we must remember that the success of a leader depends on the achievements of the led.
“We must not only be worthy leaders but also dealers of hope for the entire membership of the National Assembly in particular and our nation in general. Check the history of the world and you will discover that the world has always been changed by a few thoughtful, patriotic, selfless, concerned citizens armed with faith and conviction. They led the charge, the masses followed.
“If we all put our hands on deck, the Tenth Assembly shall surmount every challenge. It is in our hands to make this Assembly the last hope of the common man or the lost hope of the common man. The choice is ours. As leaders let us see every problem through the broad windscreen of national interest; not through the tiny side mirror of politics.
“Let us be the symphonic voices of reason; not the raucous echoes of tribal or religious sentiments. Let us not make the mistake of thinking that our problem is APC or PDP or LP or SDP or any other party. That is an error. We face a collective action problem because relevant groups and stakeholders in our country fail to connect, cooperate and collaborate.
“As leaders of those who represent our people, it behooves us to set collective action templates for our nation’s developmental efforts, and a collaborative legislative agenda for solving our nation’s challenges.
“A template that would eschew such issues in collective action problems like the tragedy of commons, senselessly exploiting common resources and depleting them; free riding, being inordinately concerned with consumption and not production of our wealth; information asymmetry, hoarding information in order to have an imbalance of power; and opting for sub-optimal equilibrium where we could go for agenda setting.
In his speechVice President, Kashim Shettima, urged members of the National Assembly to see the Executive as partners in the Nigerian project, saying, the Executive arm of the Federal Government cannot go to war with the National Assembly.
The Vice President who handed down the position during a two-day retreat for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly at Sheraton by 4-Point Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State on Friday said the executive would collaborate with the National Assembly on shared values, as governance was a collective responsibility.
The VP assured that the National Assembly cannot be taken for granted as some of the executive members were alumnus of NASS.In his welcome remarks, Director General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman called on NASS members to explore best practices, innovative strategies, and the latest legislative tools that could enhance their performance.
“This retreat aims to provide an opportunity for the Leadership of both Chambers to share experiences, identify strategic legislative priority objectives for the 10th National Assembly, and explore ways of aligning the Legislative Agenda of the respective chambers with the 8-Point Agenda and ‘Renewed Hope” mantra of the President, H.E., Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.
“The only way to achieve the lofty goals of the President is to ensure that the necessary legislative frameworks support government actions. The retreat will also provide an opportunity for bonding and candid exchange on critical issues before the National Assembly.
“As we embark on this retreat, we are reminded of the pivotal role that Leadership plays in shaping the future of our country. Your vision and dedication are the cornerstones upon which our very democracy stands.
“Effectively addressing the myriad challenges that face our country requires a legislature that is competent, committed and attuned to the difficulties and needs of their constituents. You can build on the successes of the previous Assemblies and continue some of the unfinished business, including finalising work on some critical Bills and revisiting some important legislations, including the PIA, Electoral Act and the Climate Change Act, among others.
“Let me reassure you that the Institute is at hand to provide the necessary intellectual and technical support to the National Assembly to succeed in its lawmaking, oversight and representation functions,” he stated.